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[uh-wey-kuh n] /əˈweɪ kən/
verb (used with or without object)
to awake; waken.
Origin of awaken
before 900; Middle English awak(e)nen, Old English awæcnian earlier onwæcnian. See a-1, waken
Related forms
awakenable, adjective
awakener, noun
reawaken, verb
well-awakened, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for reawaken
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The only thing that keeps me sane is the hope that we may reawaken them.

    The End of Time Wallace West
  • In vain did Gustave try to reawaken the ardor of his partisans.

  • Her father had vanished and there was even yet nothing in that to reawaken the pang of loss.

    What Maisie Knew

    Henry James
  • The world, her own social world, seemed all at once to reawaken before her.

    Petticoat Rule Emmuska Orczy, Baroness Orczy
  • Then came new experiences to reawaken the slumbering vision.

    Romain Rolland Stefan Zweig
  • Of what use is the sun if not to reawaken that dark sleeper—the conscience?

    The Man Who Laughs

    Victor Hugo
  • Hadrian asked me to help him reawaken in Athens Apollo and his Muses.

    Roads from Rome

    Anne C. E. Allinson
  • If I might be with you long enough, if I might reawaken the old tenderness!

    Philip Winwood

    Robert Neilson Stephens
British Dictionary definitions for reawaken


to emerge or rouse from sleep
to become or make aware of (something) again
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for reawaken



Old English awæcnan (intransitive), "to spring into being, arise, originate," also, less often, "to wake up;" earlier onwæcnan, from a- (1) "on" + wæcnan (see waken). Transitive meaning "to rouse from sleep" is recorded from 1510s; figurative sense of "to stir up, rouse to activity" is from c.1600.

Originally strong declension (past tense awoc, past participle awacen), already in Old English it was confused with awake (v.) and a weak past tense awæcnede (modern awakened) emerged and has since become the accepted form, with awoke and awoken transferred to awake. Subtle shades of distinction determine the use of awake or awaken in modern English. Related: Awakening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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